I’ve often thought that if a new paradigm of recovery were to evolve, it would be one that embraced yoga, meditation, nutrition, journaling, and the 12 Steps. It seems that the day has come when that exact prescription has been brought forth in the genius of Tommy Rosen. Tommy is the author of Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life (Hay House, 2014). This isn’t just another book on how-to, or another recovery story that is meant to impress. This is a breakthrough in how recovery can be approached, and in my opinion, should be approached.
I had the pleasure of attending Tommy’s Recovery 2.0 Conference last year and was more than impressed. With a top-notch list of thought leaders in a week long series of interviews, Tommy led each one on a journey of inquiry about their approach to recovery.
Not sobriety – but recovery. To return to an original state, to return to the state of oneness that always was, and always will be.
Luminaries such as Gabor Mate, MD, Jamison Monroe, Ashley Turner, Guru Prem and Nikki Meyers, to name but a few. As each interview unfolded before me I sat riveted to my computer screen. The concepts, intentions, beliefs and principles that were being put forth were the very same that I have always maintained were the foundation of long-term recovery. In fact, they were the exact principles that I had personally been using for my own path of recovery, which is now in it’s 21st year.
Several months later, I had the privilege of being selected for Tommy’s Recovery 2.0 Retreat in Costa Rica. I had no “expectations” other than to experience a week long immersion in a country I had long wished to visit. This practice has been a part of my spiritual path for over three decades, but it had been two years since I had last had a chance to enjoy the benefits of taking time off for an intimate period for self-discovery.
After the first day, I knew this was no ordinary retreat. This was different.
My years of pursuing Tibetan Buddhism and immersing myself in silent or meditation retreats, etc., were experiences of challenge, yes, but also deeply rewarding. However, there was always a “brittle” quality that I felt during and after the experiences, which led to a gradual diminishing of the commitment of practice and return to the frayed experience of a stress-filled existence in the Washington, DC beltway.
From the first session with Tommy Rosen, (and later sessions with his wife Kia Miller), the lyrical, humor filled, engaging, approach was – might I be so bold to say – enlightening.
Perhaps because the focus was “recovery” – a more profound experience to abstinence from alcohol, drugs or other substances that cause suffering – perhaps because in addition, the yoga was “old school” and the spiritual practices deeply embedded in the Kundalini tradition.
What was true for me was that it brought me back to my original self in a way I had not expected, nor anticipated, but welcomed whole-heartedly. On the second day I had a memory bubble arise from a time when I was fifteen years old and attended a “lecture demonstration” of yoga – the sequences and chants were the very same that I was doing in a glass enclosed yoga studio overlooking the Pacific ocean. I was truly “returning” to something that had resonated with me almost forty years ago.
Upon return, I willingly engaged in a daily practice that continues to this day – one I embrace, enjoy, and look forward to each and every morning. The beltway is still challenging. However, there is no sense of brittleness; rather, there is a sense of ease, calm, and ability to breathe more easily when the challenges arise.
I now bring these techniques to my sessions with clients, and the results are impressive. Breathing techniques are diminishing anxiety and cravings; body movement is helping to connect the individual to a long lost relationship with the “self.”
My path has deepened, and become one of a joyous and abundant enthusiasm for life which now drives my passion to serve others, to be an abiding example of hope, integrity and compassion – and to illuminate the path of recovery.
May my dedication serve each and every one of you on your path.